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What are Waterproof Electrical Connectors?

By Shannon Kietzman
Updated May 16, 2024
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Water and electricity do not mix. Therefore, waterproof electrical connectors are essential when electricity is needed in a moist or wet area. They are particularly important at water filtration plants, which often use electrical equipment such as water pumps, bottling machines, and purification machines. In this setting, it is necessary for the electrical connectors to be waterproof in order to prevent serious accidents, such as electrocution.

Boats, sewage treatment plants, boathouses, oil refineries, automatic car wash establishments, rural homes, and waterfront properties are all examples of places that need waterproof electrical connectors. Other applications include cable and phone connections, which go from an outside pole to the inside of a house or remain completely outside as they run from pole to pole. Rain, snow, and humidity can easily damage wiring if electrical connectors are not waterproofed to protect it.

Many people rely on a water well to provide water for their household usage. Because water can only leave the well through the action of an electrical pump, electricity is needed. It is critical for electrical connectors within the well to remain dry. Any contact with the water found below the ground can cause the motor to burn out and can damage the well. Therefore, waterproof electrical connectors are necessary.

Waterproof electrical connectors resist even the toughest wet conditions because they form an extremely tight seal. They have prongs that plug into the receptacle end that is commonly found on all electrical connectors. The prongs are partially covered in flexible and durable rubber, however.

The rubber slides into the receptacle end and fills all of the gaps, forming a tight seal and preventing water from being able to leak into the electrical components. In addition, the rubber in waterproof electrical connectors carries insulating properties that protect the user from electrical shock. These connectors are strong and can resist damage from both Mother Nature and physical impact. In earthquake prone areas, for example, they are often used because they can withstand extreme vibrations.

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Discussion Comments
By drtroubles — On May 08, 2011

I have noticed that there is a wide range of price points for waterproof electrical connectors. For a project at home, with only limited exposure to water, what kind of price should I expect to pay for a single 60 amp cable-to-cable connector?

I am also curious about how important you think getting a warranty is? Should these products last a lifetime, or should I expect to have to replace the connector every few years?

By wander — On May 08, 2011

If you want to place lighting features underwater, for instance in a pool or pond, are there special waterproof electrical connectors that are meant to be submerged permanently?

By MrSmirnov — On May 05, 2011

There are actually several kinds of waterproof electrical connectors and choosing the right one is very important for your safety. If you are doing a project at home you should make sure you choose the right one.

As a guideline, cable-to-cable versions are used for connecting your electrical devices, while bulkhead connectors are used for weatherproofing over time.

For those working on vehicles 60 amp and 20 amp are widely used for cars and motorcycles, with 20 amp being preferred for boats.

Finally you can pick up a single conductor waterproof electrical connector if you need an extra secure connection.

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